Many people create exercise resolutions in the New Year. A Union County teacher planted the seed early on by helping kids start a healthy exercise regimen while they are still young.Dr. Beverly Little teaches AIG reading and math to fourth- and fifth-graders at New Salem Elementary School. She also oversees New Salem Roadrunners, a health and fitness club for kids in grades K-5. She started the club eight years ago.The running club meets one afternoon a week. They participate in various one-mile and 5K charity walks/runs throughout the year.“I try to structure our running program so that the children will want to continue running. I believe the scheduled events help keep them motivated,” Little said. “The top priority is not mileage-based, but having fun while running with friends.”Each student receives a New Salem Roadrunners T-shirt to wear to local races and school, which helps bring awareness to the club. In addition to scheduled races, she tries to motivate the students by periodically offering Mileage Club Toe Tokens, team outings or having guest runners to visit.“My advice to my runners is to start with simple goals. … This may be to run one lap around our school track. The next goal may be to attend a one-mile fun run,” Little said. “The older kids may attend the same event. However, they may be ready for a 5K.”For the sixth year in a row, the New Salem Roadrunners organized the Elf Run as a service-learning opportunity in December. The event included a one-mile Jingle Jog, treat bags and health screenings by CMC-Union for the community. Race participants brought toys to donate as their admission to the race. Toys were distributed to needy families.“I believe it is important to celebrate everyone’s runs,” Little said. “We may celebrate that one child simply finished, or that another ran at a steady pace, or even that one completed his or her first 5K.”Little’s oldest son, Drew, is now at Piedmont High School. He participated in Roadrunners while at New Salem. Her youngest son, Dylan, is involved with Roadrunners and is looking forward to the upcoming April Fool’s Day Run in Albemarle.Beverly Little also teaches online courses for Northcentral University and has taught math methods and gifted curriculum as an adjunct professor in Wingate University’s education program. After graduating from Wingate, she received two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree.
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013
New Salem Elementary running group emphasizes fitness, fun
Roadrunners club emphasizes fun and fitness – not mileage
Beverly Little, right, a teacher at New Salem Elementary, founded and has overseen the school's Roadrunners club for eight years. Her son Drew, left, now a student at Piedmont High, participated when he was at New Salem.